Villar: Composting will help minimize dependence on costly imported fertilizers

Published December 5, 2022, 3:05 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Cynthia Villar has expressed hope that everyone would share her intense passion in promoting composting with almost triple increase in the cost of chemical fertilizer.

Villar, chairwoman of Senate agriculture committee, noted that the spike- from P934 average in 2019 to P2,134.64 average in 2022, would minimize the farmer’s use of costly fertilizers.

“With the country’s dependence on imported fertilizers, the current global demand greatly affects the entry of fertilizer imports in our country. This caused limited local fertilizer supply that influenced the escalation of local prices,” Villar said during the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) celebration of the World Soil Day 2022 in Quezon City today.

Villar said the World Soil Day (WSD) is held annually to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources.

The global theme for this year’s celebration- “Soils: Where food begins” – aims to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems.

This can be done by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, increasing soil awareness and encouraging societies to improve soil health.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) noted that if the soils are not managed sustainably, fertility is progressively lost, and soils will produce nutrient-deficient plants.

“Soil nutrient loss is a major soil degradation process threatening nutrition. It is recognized as being among the most critical problems at a global level for food security and sustainability,” Villar pointed out.

In Las Piñas City, Villar said she started her composting project in 2002 that enables local government units (LGUs) to save more than P300M annually from recycling 75 percent of their wastes, where 50 percent are kitchen and garden wastes into organic fertilizer.

The Villar SIPAG- a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Vista Land- has established 118 composting facilities- 67 in the 20 barangays in Las Piñas and 50 in Vista Land communities nationwide.

She said composting contributes to the promotion of organic farming in the Philippines as farmers are among the main beneficiaries of this compost.

“The project touches the lives of many vegetable enthusiasts interested in home gardening, the farmers and private individuals for they can avail free organic fertilizer together with vegetable seeds for their farms or backyard garden,” Villar, also chairperson of the Senate committee on environment and natural resources, explained.

Just recently, the VIllar SIPAG’s Las Piñas Kitchen Wastes Composting Project won the Energy Globe Award after being recognized as one of the “World’s Best Environmental Projects” after being acknowledged for its significant contributions and sustainable efforts to protect preserve and save the environment.

Villar also thanked the BSWM for helping promote composting. She said the P1.1-billion fund for a composting program which formerly remained unused, has now moved with the BSWM completing the procurement process.